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Nursing 427 Concepts in Community and Public Health

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Substance Abuse in Adolescents
Seana Benham
Grand Canyon University
Nursing 427 Concepts in Community and Public Health
November5, 2015

Prevalence of substance abuse among youth
In 2013, the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey revealed than an estimated 16.6 percent of Colorado high school youth reported binge drinking, 10.7 percent reported cigarette smoking, and 19.7 percent reported marijuana use in the 30 days prior to the survey. As many as 13.6 percent abused prescription drugs at some point in their lives. Of note, the 2013 prevalence of Colorado high school youth ever having used other illicit drugs ranged between 2.7 percent for heroin and 7.3 percent for inhalants. Methamphetamine use was reported as 3.2 percent; cocaine, 5.8 percent; and Ecstasy, 6.7 percent. (Maternal and Child Health Issue Brief, 2014). According to Maternal Health and Child Health issue brief (2014), the prevalence of binge drinking, cigarette smoking, and marijuana use are substantially lower among middle school youth compared to high school youth.
What contributes to substance abuse among youth? Substance abuse among youth is a complex issue with many potentially contributing factors that might include an individual’s peer influence, an individual’s biology, family and peer influence, and the social context in which use occurs (Newcomb; M et al. 2009). Family and peer influences can be influential towards substance use or abuse; familial risk factors that influence substance abuse include child abuse, and neglect, substance abuse among family members, parental marital status, and family socioeconomic status. The social context in which substance abuse occurs can influence the type of substances a youth may select. An example might be where a high school student may use alcohol and marijuana in a party situation, however, they typically misuse prescription drugs
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